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Weight

An asymmetrical elephant top that balance thanks to an algorithm created at Disney Researc...

Tops, yo-yos, and other spinning toys are amongst the oldest playthings created by man, with the earliest examples dating back to 3,500 BC. Paradoxically, they’re not very easy to make with their design requiring a lot of trial and error. One mistake and, instead of a pirouetting plaything, you get a clattering paperweight. That’s why spinning toys tend to be symmetrical – until now. In a blow for symmetry, Disney Research Zurich and ETH Zurich have developed a computer algorithm that can take any shape, no matter how cock-eyed, and make it spin like a top.  Read More

Researchers have modified a strain of E. coli to produce a lipid compound called NAPE in t...

Researchers at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee have raised hopes for the possibility of developing of a probiotic to treat obesity and other chronic diseases. The team inhibited weight gain, insulin resistance and various other negative health effects of a high-fat diet in mice by modifying bacteria to produce a therapeutic compound in the gut.  Read More

Audi's GFRP springs (left) are lighter than the steel units they replace

The quest for ever-greater fuel efficiency is driving auto manufacturers to extreme lengths to reduce the weight of their vehicles. Aluminum, carbon fiber and fiberglass are all being used to help meet stringent emissions standards. In its search for "enlightenment," Audi has announced it will introduce glass fiber-reinforced polymer (GFRP) springs in its vehicles before the end of the year.  Read More

A new study has found that changes in ambient temperature can influence the concentration ...

The discovery that lowering your body temperature leads to an increase in a certain type of "good" fat might have some ditching the diet books and shedding a layer of clothing instead. A study conducted at the National Institute of Health (NIH) in Washington has demonstrated that changes in ambient temperature affects brown fat levels in humans, pointing to potential treatment options for the weight-wary and sufferers of diabetes.  Read More

Element 117 could become a new member of the periodic table of elements (Image: Shuttersto...

A new super-heavy element, temporarily called 117, may soon be making its way into the periodic table after being successfully created in a laboratory setting. Made up of 117 protons, the element matches some of the heaviest atoms ever observed and is around 40 percent heavier than a single atom of lead.  Read More

Genetically modified cells implanted in the body monitor the blood-fat level and produce a...

Most who have tried it would agree that dieting is a generally unpleasant, and an oftentimes ineffective way to lose weight in the long-term. The biggest hurdle for many is the constant hunger that comes from a change in their regular diet. Biotechnologists at ETH-Zurich have created a genetic helper that could one day put an end to the hunger pangs.  Read More

Continental says its future generation tire sensors will accurately detect the size of con...

Since installing your own personal weigh station in the driveway isn’t really practical, drivers basically have to guess whether or not they’re exceeding the vehicle’s maximum payload weight. For many, this probably comes down to whether or not the wheels are scraping the arches, but international automotive supplier Continental is set to offer a more accurate approach by developing tires with the ability to detect a vehicle’s weight.  Read More

Artist's rendering of the International Prototype Kilogram (Image: Greg L)

According to researchers at Newcastle University in the United Kingdom, the kilogram is very likely getting heavier. How can this be? Mainly because we’re talking about the definitive kilogram, the International Prototype Kilogram (IPK) kept at the International Bureau of Weights and Measures in Paris. But because this is the kilo against which all kilos are defined, in a theoretical sense at least, all kilograms will technically be heavier too.  Read More

A prototype bathroom scale not only measures the user's weight, but also performs an elect...

People being monitored for heart conditions currently have to go into a hospital or clinic on a regular basis, to have an electrocardiogram performed on them. That may be about to change, however, as researchers from Spain’s Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya have developed a bathroom scale that performs the procedure right in the user’s home.  Read More

NEMS mass scale which can detect the mass of a single proton (Photo: CIT)

A sprocket of research engineers (yes, apparently that's the collective noun for a group of engineers) at the Catalan Institute of Technology (CIT) has succeeded in breaking the record for sensitivity of mass measurement. By measuring the resonant frequency of a short length of single carbon nanotube, masses as small as a single nucleon (proton or neutron), having a mass of about 1.7 yoctogram (1 yg = 10^-24 grams) were measured, thereby exhibiting a level of sensitivity several orders of magnitude better than previous devices. This new technology enables the detection and identification of individual atoms and molecules and tracing the fate of individual atoms in a chemical reaction.  Read More

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